Clarifying Shampoo Guide: What, How & Which

Clarifying shampoo 101

What is a clarifying shampoo?

Clarifying shampoos are the daddies of shampoos in terms of hair cleaning. Clarifying shampoos have the most hair-cleaning power of all types of shampoo and are to be used for those times in which your hair looks too greasy or has too much residue from your use of hairstyling products. Men can certainly use clarifying shampoos although the vast majority aren’t even aware that these sort of men’s hair products exist!

Clarifying shampoos are normally advertised as such (i.e. “clarifying) although they can also go by the names of “deep cleaning” or “degreasing”, or some other name that points to the clarifying shampoo’s ability to clean just about anything. Clarifying shampoos can have all sorts of hair-cleaning ingredients such as several sulfate-type ingredients (sodium laureth sulfate is a common one) and cocamidopropyl betaine. However, due to the many ingredients that can be used, it is best to just go by the specified use on the label (i.e. it mentions clarifying or any of the aforementioned terms).

A bottle of clarifying shampoo for men's hair

As per above, clarifying shampoos will normally state the word “clarifying” on the product’s label

How to use a clarifying shampoo?

To use a clarifying shampoo, you must select a specific day in which you will be able to dedicate time to cleaning your hair and won’t be rushing the hair-grooming process. A clarifying shampoo is used as a regular shampoo although you can certainly leave it on for longer (over a minute altogether) if you want to; however, it is the “what to do after the shampoo” that counts. While you should be using a hair conditioner after your use of shampoo regardless of the shampoo’s type, it is with clarifying shampoos that you must follow the rinsing of the shampoo with a conditioner. A clarifying shampoo will remove the bad from your hair, but it will also remove the good too (i.e. secreted sebum from your follicles); hair conditioners act as quasi sebum in that they allow the har to regain its moisture and shine right after the shampoo.

Not only must you use a hair conditioner (i.e. regular conditioner) after the clarifying shampoo but you can also throw in a deep conditioner after the regular conditioner or swap the regular conditioner for a deep conditioner. Deep conditioners are to regular shampoos as clarifying shampoos are to regular shampoos; in other words, since you will be using a powerful shampoo, you might as well use a powerful conditioner. Deep conditioners are normally left on the hair longer than regular conditioners, hence the need to have sufficient time during the day that you schedule a clarifying-shampoo session.

Once or twice a month is a good frequency of use for clarifying shampoos if your use of hairstyling products is excessive and your hair remains greasy or dim despite your normal shampooing efforts.

Which clarifying shampoos are best for men??

Because men secrete more sebum than women, we males need a high-quality clarifying shampoo to not only get the residue of hairstyling products off our locks but also remove the accumulated sebum that may occur due to bad grooming. You can get some pretty-good clarifying shampoos on Amazon, these are some good ones you can get for some good prices (opens in new window to Amazon):

Overall, you can use a clarifying shampoo if you deem that your hair is looking too greasy despite your hair-grooming efforts. Once or twice a month is more than enough if you’re a frequent user of heavy-depositing hairstyling products such as wax, pomade and styling creams.

For your male grooming needs, visit the Barbershop Forums, the mens style and fashion community with some epic male grooming stuff thrown in!

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